Most employers are looking to hire employees who are forward thinking and in tune with trends impacting their profession. With insight into trends and what's expected in your industry, you can help propel a company beyond the status quo.
Being engaged with the industry shows you care about it — it's an indicator that you're passionate about work, and will go beyond the bare minimum as an employee.
Interviewers and recruiters are very likely to expect you to know about trending topics in your profession and/or career field.
How to Answer Interview Questions About Trends in Your Profession
You should be able to show the interviewer that you are on top of what’s new and noteworthy. To do that, you'll need to regularly spend time researching the latest trends in your field to make sure you acquire the knowledge and skills to keep pace with change.
When you are in job search mode, it is especially important to have a handle on trends and to be prepared to comfortably discuss your views about the factors influencing the evolution of your profession.
Even if you are not explicitly asked about trends, your insight into the industry can be helpful throughout your interview. It can inform your responses to other interview questions.
How Can You Keep Up with Trends?
Wondering how to stay current on the news and trends within your industry? You've got lots of options. Here are a few ideas:
- Attend events: Conferences tend to book thought leaders and big names within industries to give keynote addresses. Pay attention to what these speakers discuss — and also listen for mentions of any Twitter accounts, websites, or other resources or places for information that they mention. You can also attend webinars, workshops, meet-ups, and seminars to keep current on trends.
- Follow prominent figures on social media: Thanks to the internet, you can follow along with the readings lists and discussions of the leaders and big thinkers within your field. In fact, you can even (politely) engage with them on social media, and become a part of the conversation.
- Subscribe to newsletters: Along with social media, seek out industry newsletters, from the formal ones written by major groups to the chatty ones from people who are passionate about the industry. Podcasts can also be a rich source of information, as can industry trade publications.
- Seek out relevant groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other platforms: Groups on LinkedIn and Facebook are full of conversations, shared ideas, and links to interesting articles that can help you sense the trends within your field.
- Set up Google alerts: You can create alerts around key industry terms, ongoing news stories, or buzzwords. That way, you will always be up-to-date on the latest information.
During interviews, as well as mentioning trends, you can share where you learned about them. That will show that you're interested and involved in the industry, and actively seeking to stay current.
Examples of the Best Answers
Once you're actively following and reading thought leaders and stars in your field, as well as keeping up to date through newsletters, podcasts, and other sources of information, it's easier to talk about trends.
Here are some potential ways to respond if you are asked about the latest trends in your industry, where you think the industry is headed, how you keep up with industry trends, or other similar questions.
"I enjoy conversing with fellow professionals and the buzz recently has focused on the importance of maintaining adequate loan reserves at this point in the economic cycle."
"I follow John Brown, Jane Smith and Bob Meyers on Twitter and they all have touted the urgency of reducing expenses by outsourcing programming to lower cost countries.
"I recently read an article in the Journal of Marketing underscoring the importance of tapping the social media to more effectively target market segments."
"There were three or four sessions devoted to Search Engine Marketing strategies at this year's annual conference for the Web Marketing Association, I was able to attend two workshops and learned..."
"I find our industry so fascinating. Without even trying, I've followed and engaged with some of the big thought leaders in our field, such as Sarah Jane, Joe Smith, and so on. As well as my early-morning Twitter scrolling, I subscribe to newsletters from mainstream and industry publications. Plus, I try to attend at least one big conference a year. I find the conversations with peers can be as valuable as the keynote speakers and workshops at these events."